Abbotsford, British Columbia

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Abbotsford
City of Abbotsford
Mill Lake 3.jpg
The Reach Gallery Museum exterior.jpg
Mill lake panorama abbotsford.jpg
UCFV Library.JPG
AbbotsfordAirportEntrance.jpg
Flag of Abbotsford
Nicknames: 
"Abby", City in the Country, Raspberry Capital of Canada, A-Town
Motto(s): 
"Unus Cum Viribus Duorum"  (Latin)
"One with the strength of two"
Abbotsford is located in British Columbia
Abbotsford
Abbotsford
Location of Abbotsford in British Columbia
Coordinates: 49°3′N 122°19′W / 49.050°N 122.317°W / 49.050; -122.317Coordinates: 49°3′N 122°19′W / 49.050°N 122.317°W / 49.050; -122.317
CountryCanada
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Regional districtFraser Valley
Established1892
Incorporated1945
Government
 • BodyAbbotsford City Council
 • MayorHenry Braun
 • City Council
List of MPs
  • Les Barkman
  • Sandy Blue
  • Kelly Chahal
  • Brenda Falk
  • Dave Loewen
  • Patricia Ross
  • Dave Sidhu
  • Ross Siemens
 • MP
 • MLA
Area
 • Land375.33 km2 (144.92 sq mi)
 • Metro606.72 km2 (234.26 sq mi)
 • Rank1st in British Columbia
Elevation
38 m (124 ft)
Population
 • City153,524
 • Estimate 
(2021)[4]
165,070
 • Rank32nd in Canada
5th in British Columbia
 • Density409.0/km2 (1,059/sq mi)
 • Metro195,726
 • Metro density322.6/km2 (836/sq mi)
DemonymAbbotsfordian
Time zoneUTC−8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Forward sortation area
Area codes604, 778, 236, 672
GDP (Abbotsford-Mission CMA)CA$6.9 billion (2016)[5]
GDP per capita (Abbotsford-Mission CMA)CA$38,162 (2016)
Websitewww.abbotsford.ca Edit this at Wikidata

Abbotsford is a city located in British Columbia, adjacent to the Canada–United States border, Greater Vancouver and the Fraser River. With an estimated population of 153,524 people it is the largest municipality in the province outside metropolitan Vancouver.[2] Abbotsford-Mission has the third highest proportion of visible minorities among census metropolitan areas in Canada, after the Greater Toronto Area and the Greater Vancouver CMA.[6] It is home to Tradex, the University of the Fraser Valley, and Abbotsford International Airport.

As of the 2021 census, it is the largest municipality of the Fraser Valley Regional District and the fifth-largest municipality of British Columbia. The Abbotsford–Mission metropolitan area of around 195,726 inhabitants as of the 2021 census is the 23rd largest census metropolitan area in Canada.[3] It has also been named by Statistics Canada as Canada's most generous city in terms of charitable donations for nine straight years.[7]

The community of 375.55 square kilometres (145.00 sq mi) is the largest city by area in British Columbia. The municipality's southern boundary is the Canada–United States border. In Canada, it is bordered by the Township of Langley to the west, the District of Mission to the north, and the City of Chilliwack to the east. Abbotsford borders the town of Sumas, Washington, to the south. Much of Abbotsford has views of Mount Baker (to the southeast, in Washington) and the Coast Mountains (to the north).

History[edit]

Settlement[edit]

The first residents of the area are the Stó:lō Nation.[8] The Abbotsford area is considered part of the traditional and unceded territory of the Stó:lō people, the Semá:th First Nation and Mathxwí First Nation.[9] The Upper Sumas 6 Indian reserve of the Sumas First Nation is located at Kilgard within Abbotsford city limits.[10]

European settlement began when the Royal Engineers surveyed the area in response to the gold rush along the Fraser River in 1858. This led to the building of Yale Road (today Old Yale Road), the first transportation route to link the Fraser Valley. The settlement grew and the production of butter, milk and tobacco began by the late 1860s. In 1889, former Royal Engineer John Cunningham Maclure applied for a Crown grant to obtain the 160 acres (0.65 km2) that would become Abbotsford.

The Gur Sikh Temple, located on 33089 South Fraser Way, is the oldest Sikh temple in North America. Built in 1908 and opened in 1911, it is now over 110 years old, outlasting the now demolished 2nd Avenue temple in Vancouver (opened in 1908),[11] and the Golden temple (opened in 1905) which was destroyed by fire.[12]

There is some controversy over the origin of the Abbotsford name.[13] The most commonly cited origin is that Maclure named the land "Abbotsford" after family friend Henry Braithwaite Abbott, the western superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railway.[14] Maclure's sons later stated that the property had actually been named for Sir Walter Scott's home, Abbotsford House, and pronounced it with the accent on ford,[15] In his later years Maclure himself claimed that the naming had been "a combination of two ideas".[13] The Akriggs say that Maclure in an 1844 letter said that when the town was laid out in 1844, the town was named for Henry Abbott, general superintendent of the CPR and brother of Sir John Abbott, prime minister.[16]: 1 

Contemporary period[edit]

Downtown Abbotsford

The title passed hands to Robert Ward, who filed a townsite subdivision on July 9, 1891. Also in 1891, the CPR built a railway line through the area that connected Mission with the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway at Sumas, Washington. This route was the only rail connection between Vancouver and Seattle until 1904. The Village of Abbotsford was incorporated in 1892. At that time Robert Ward sold many of the lots to private investors, but also sold off a significant portion to the Great Northern Railway's subsidiary company the Vancouver, Victoria and Eastern Railway. The British Columbia Electric Railway (BCER) arrived in 1910. The Interurban, as the BCER tram linking Abbotsford with Vancouver and Chilliwack was called, was discontinued in 1950, but BCER's successor BC Hydro retains the right to re-introduce passenger rail service. Service to Vancouver runs from neighbouring Mission by way of the West Coast Express.

The most notable natural disaster to hit Abbotsford was a major flood of the Fraser River in 1948.

In September 1984, Pope John Paul II held an open-air Mass for over 200,000 people at Abbotsford International Airport.[17]

The amalgamation of the Village of Abbotsford and the District of Sumas into the District of Abbotsford occurred in 1972. The District of Abbotsford amalgamated with the District of Matsqui in 1995 to become the City of Abbotsford, raising the population significantly.

In June 2013, the City of Abbotsford spread chicken manure on a homeless camp located in the city.[18] Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman publicly apologized for the incident.[19] A lawsuit was launched on behalf of some of the homeless, stating that a bylaw which prevents overnight camping in Abbotsford parks is against their right to shelter. The city has formed a homelessness action plan, and has approved a proposal for a supportive housing facility.[20]

The city of Abbotsford has a long and ongoing history of gang-related crime, particularly that of violence and the illegal sale of controlled substances.[21][22][23][24]

On November 16, 2021, Abbotsford residents living in the Sumas Prairie were given an evacuation order given the flooding in British Columbia at the time, the city calling the situation "catastrophic".[25]

Government[edit]

Abbotsford City Hall

Abbotsford City Council comprises a council-manager form of local government. The mayor and council were last elected in 2018. The current mayor Henry Braun, was re-elected with 56.91% of the popular vote. Councillors elected in 2018 were: Patricia Ross (9.8%), Les Barkman (6.42%), Moe Gill (6.15%), Ross Siemens (6.04%), Brenda Falk (5.72%), Dave Loewen (5.59%), Kelley Chahal (5.21%), and Sandy Blue (5.16%). School trustees elected are: Cindy Schafer (9.72%), Stan Petersen (9.39%), Shirley Wilson (9.04%), Rhonda Pauls (8.89%), Preet S. Rai (8.74%), Freddy Latham (8.29%), and Phil Anderson (7.55%).[26][27][28]

The Abbotsford flag and coat of arms are the same, featuring straight, diagonal crosses representing Abbotsford as at a "crossroads". At the centre is a strawberry blossom to symbolize the local berry industry. The flag of Abbotsford was originally blue in colour. The change to green was initiated in 1995 when the District of Abbotsford and the District of Matsqui amalgamated to create the City of Abbotsford.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1931 510—    
1941 562+10.2%
1951 785+39.7%
1956 830+5.7%
1961 888+7.0%
1966 792−10.8%
1971 706−10.9%
1976 9,507+1246.6%
1981 12,745+34.1%
1986 14,496+13.7%
1991 18,864+30.1%
1996 105,403+458.8%
2001 115,463+9.5%
2006 123,864+7.3%
2011 133,497+7.8%
2016 141,397+5.9%
2021 153,524+8.6%
Sources: Statistics Canada[29][Note 1][Note 2]

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Abbotsford had a population of 153,524 living in 53,234 of its 55,659 total private dwellings, a change of 8.6% from its 2016 population of 141,397. With a land area of 375.33 km2 (144.92 sq mi), it had a population density of 409.0/km2 (1,059.4/sq mi) in 2021.[2]

At the census metropolitan area (CMA) level in the 2021 census, the Abbotsford - Mission CMA had a population of 195,726 living in 67,613 of its 70,648 total private dwellings, a change of 8.4% from its 2016 population of 180,518. With a land area of 606.72 km2 (234.26 sq mi), it had a population density of 322.6/km2 (835.5/sq mi) in 2021.[3]

Languages[edit]

According to the 2011 Census, 65.74% of Abbotsford's population have English as a mother tongue; Punjabi is the mother tongue of 18.71% of the population, followed by German (4.32%), Dutch (1.12%), Korean (1.00%), French (0.83%), Spanish (0.74%), Vietnamese (0.47%), Chinese, n.o.s. (0.45%), and Tagalog (0.44%).[30]

Mother tongue Population (2011) Percentage
English 86,660 65.74%
Punjabi 24,660 18.71%
German 5,695 4.32%
Dutch 1,480 1.12%
Korean 1,315 1.00%
French 1,095 0.83%
Spanish 980 0.74%
Vietnamese 620 0.47%
Chinese, n.o.s. 595 0.45%
Tagalog (Filipino) 585 0.44%

Ethnicity[edit]

Abbotsford has the third highest proportion of visible minorities among Census Metropolitan Areas in Canada, after the Greater Toronto Area and Greater Vancouver.[6]

The largest ethnic group is European, comprising approximately 64% of the population. This group includes German, Dutch, British, Irish, Scandinavian and Slavic ethnic origins.[31] The next largest ethnic group in Abbotsford is South Asian (countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka) comprising 21.7% of the population. This is followed by Aboriginals at 6.2% of the population (which includes Indigenous peoples from other parts of Canada and the United States) and Chinese at 1.4%.

More than a quarter (26.1%) of the city's population was born outside Canada. Of that percentage, a majority is from South Asia, followed by groups from China, South Korea, Southeast Asia and Latin America. English is the primary language spoken, with 78.7% of the population having it as their first language.

The Abbotsford metropolitan area has Canada's highest proportion of South Asians.[32] In 2016, the City of Abbotsford had 35,310 South Asians, while the Abbotsford CMA had 38,250. Indo-Canadians in Abbotsford have worked in berry farms and in area businesses. Members of the ethnic group first arrived in the early 1900s to work on farms and in the lumber industry.[33][34]

Canada 2016 Census (City of Abbotsford)
Ethnicity Population % of total population
Visible minority group[35] South Asian 35,310 25.5%
Chinese 2,290 1.7%
Black 1,415 1%
Filipino 1,570 1.1%
Latin American 1,120 0.8%
Arab 340 0.2%
Southeast Asian 1,540 1.1%
West Asian 215 0.2%
Korean 1,340 1%
Japanese 515 0.4%
Other visible minority 230 0.2%
Mixed visible minority 755 0.5%
Total visible minority population 46,635 33.7%
Aboriginal group[36] First Nations 3,180 2.3%
Métis 3,100 2.2%
Inuit 20 0%
Total Aboriginal population 6,595 4.8%
European 85,325 61.6%
Total population 138,555 100%
2016 ethnic groups (Abbotsford CMA)[37]
Ethnicity Population %
Ethnic group European 112,845 64%
South Asian 38,250 21.7%
Aboriginal 10,875 6.2%
Chinese 2,515 1.4%
Filipino 1,810 1%
Southeast Asian 1,715 1%
Black 1,670 0.9%
Korean 1,515 0.9%
Latin American 1,430 0.8%
Japanese 630 0.4%
Arab 375 0.2%
West Asian 230 0.1%
Multiple minorities 810 0.5%
Visible minority, n.i.e. 270 0.2%
Total population 176,330 100%

Ethnic origin[edit]

Ethnic origin[38] Population (2006) Percent of 156,640[Note 3] Comments
Cornish 10 0.01%
English 42,190 26.93%
Irish 21,430 13.68%
Manx 40 0.03%
Scottish 28,695 18.32%
Welsh 3,665 2.34%
misc. British Isles, n.i.e.[Note 4] 2,265 1.45%
Acadian 55 0.04%
French 13,725 8.76%
Inuit 50 0.03%
Métis 2,670 1.70%
North American Indian 5,335 3.41% incl. First Nations, Native Americans and Alaska Natives
American 2,320 1.48%
Canadian 30,415 19.42%
Newfoundlander 65 0.04%
Québécois 55 0.04%
Barbadian 15 0.01%
Carib 15 0.01%
Guyanese 20 0.01%
Haitian 135 0.09%
Jamaican 305 0.19%
Kittitian/Nevisian 10 0.01%
Puerto Rican 15 0.01%
St. Lucian 10 0.01%
Trinidadian/Tobagonian 95 0.06%
Vincentian/Grenadinian 15 0.01%
West Indian 35 0.02%
Caribbean, n.i.e.[Note 4] 15 0.01%
Aboriginal from Central/South America 40 0.03%
Argentinian 35 0.02%
Belizean 20 0.01%
Brazilian 130 0.08%
Chilean 110 0.07%
Colombian 150 0.10%
Costa Rican 55 0.04%
Ecuadorian 10 0.01%
Guatemalan 85 0.05%
Hispanic 10 0.01%
Honduran 25 0.02%
Maya 30 0.02%
Mexican 475 0.30%
Nicaraguan 35 0.02%
Panamanian 10 0.01%
Paraguayan 195 0.10%
Peruvian 10 0.01%
Salvadoran 540 0.35%
Venezuelan 65 0.04%
Misc. Latin, Central or South American, n.i.e.[Note 4] 160 0.01%
Austrian 1,500 1.00%
Belgian 620 0.40%
Dutch (Netherlands) 16,645 10.63% % not incl. Frisians or Flemish
Flemish 110 0.07%
Frisian 160 0.10%
German 32,580 20.80%
Swiss 1,215 0.78%
Finnish 1,210 0.77%
Danish 1,950 1.24%
Icelandic 930 0.59%
Norwegian 4,715 3.01%
Swedish 4,240 2.71%
Misc. Scandinavian, n.i.e.[Note 4] 310 0.20% may include Sami and Kven
Estonian 175 0.11%
Latvian 40 0.03%
Lithuanian 130 0.08%
Belarusian 70 0.05%
Czech 590 0.38%
Czechoslovakian 230 0.15%
Slovak 190 0.12%
Hungarian (Magyar) 2,150 1.37%
Polish 4,940 3.15%
Romanian 1,065 0.68%
Russian 7,420 4.73%
Ukrainian 8,090 5.16%
Albanian 135 0.09%
Bosnian 10 0.01%
Bulgarian 60 0.04%
Croatian 245 0.16%
Greek 655 0.42%
Italian 3,675 2.35%
Kosovar 25 0.02%
Macedonian 45 0.03%
Maltese 55 0.04%
Portuguese 745 0.48%
Serbian 100 0.08%
Sicilian 10 0.01%
Slovenian 125 0.08%
Spanish 1,600 1.02%
Yugoslav, n.i.e.[Note 4] 290 0.19%
Basque 10 0.01%
Gypsy (Roma) 35 0.02%
Misc. Slav (European) 40 0.03%
Ethnic groups in Europe, n.i.e.[Note 4] 260 0.17%
Afrikaner 25 0.02%
Bantu 10 0.01%
Black 140 0.09%
Congolese (Zairian) 20 0.01%
Congolese, n.o.s.[Note 5] 15 0.01%
Dinka 40 0.03%
Ethiopian 10 0.01%
Ghanaian 50 0.03%
Kenyan 35 0.02%
Mauritian 20 0.01%
Nigerian 50 0.03%
South African 415 0.26%
Sudanese 20 0.01%
Tanzanian 15 0.01%
Misc. African, n.i.e.[Note 4] 130 0.08%
Egyptian 25 0.02%
Iraqi 15 0.01%
Lebanese 85 0.05%
Maghrebi origins 10 0.01%
Palestinian 65 0.04%
Syrian 50 0.03%
Misc. Arab, n.i.e.[Note 4] 75 0.05%
Afghan 50 0.03%
Iranian 185 0.12%
Israeli 15 0.01%
Kurdish 35 0.02%
Tatar 10 0.01%
Turkish 120 0.08%
Indian 23,445 16.47%
Goan 15 0.01%
Nepali 45 0.03%
Pakistani 195 0.12%
Punjabi 2,040 1.30%
Sri Lankan 50 0.03%
Tamil 10 0.01%
Misc. South Asian, n.i.e.[Note 4] 820 0.52%
Cambodian 50 0.03%
Chinese 2,585 1.65%
Filipino 740 0.47%
Indonesian 205 0.13%
Japanese 890 0.57%
Korean 1,665 1.06%
Laotian 240 0.15%
Malaysian 50 0.03%
Taiwanese 75 0.05%
Thai 100 0.06%
Vietnamese 1,150 0.73%
East or Southeast Asian, n.i.e.[Note 4] 85 0.05%
Australian 265 0.17%
New Zealander 145 0.09%
Fijian 100 0.06%
Hawaiian 50 0.03%
Samoan 10 0.01%
Ethnic origin by regional grouping[6] Population Percent of 156,640
British Isles origins 65,495 41.81%
French origins[Note 6] 13,745 8.77%
Aboriginal origins[Note 7] 7,860 5.02%
Other North American origins[Note 8] 31,870 20.34%
Caribbean origins 665 0.43%
Latin, Central and South American origins[Note 9] 2,070 1.32%
Western European origins[Note 10] 46,395 29.62%
Northern European origins[Note 11] 12,140 7.75%
Eastern European origin[Note 12] 21,765 13.89%
Southern European origins 7,470 4.77%
Other European origins[Note 13] 840 00.54%
African origins[Note 14] 990 0.63%
Arab origins[Note 15] 320 0.20%
West Asian origins[Note 16] 410 00.26%
South Asian origins 25,800 16.47%
East and Southeast Asian origins 7,375 4.71%
Oceania origins[Note 17] 565 0.36%

Religion[edit]

The majority of Abbotsford's population is Christian, with 61.4% of the population. Many of the largest congregations in the city are Mennonite Brethren.

The next largest religious group is Sikh, comprising 13.4% of the population. Opened in 1911, the city contains the oldest existing Sikh Gurdwara built in Canada and North America, with earlier Gurdwaras built in Kitsilano (1908)[39] and Golden (1905)[12] since being demolished or destroyed by fire.[40] A National Historic Site, located in Central Abbotsford, the Gur Sikh Temple is now over 110 years old.

Climate[edit]

Abbotsford has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate type Cfb), with just enough summer precipitation not to be classified as warm-summer mediterranean. Summers are generally warm and drier than at other times of the year and winters are rainy and very mild by Canadian standards. Snowfall can be heavy but usually not very long lasting, on average falling mostly in December and January.

Climate data for Abbotsford International Airport (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high humidex 18.8 20.0 24.8 31.2 39.5 49.8 46.2 43.4 40.1 31.2 21.0 18.9 49.8
Record high °C (°F) 18.1
(64.6)
20.6
(69.1)
24.9
(76.8)
29.8
(85.6)
36.0
(96.8)
42.9
(109.2)
38.0
(100.4)
39.4
(102.9)
37.5
(99.5)
29.3
(84.7)
22.4
(72.3)
18.2
(64.8)
42.9
(109.2)
Average high °C (°F) 6.7
(44.1)
9.0
(48.2)
11.6
(52.9)
14.7
(58.5)
18.1
(64.6)
20.8
(69.4)
24.0
(75.2)
24.4
(75.9)
21.3
(70.3)
15.0
(59.0)
9.3
(48.7)
5.9
(42.6)
15.1
(59.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.6
(38.5)
5.0
(41.0)
7.2
(45.0)
9.8
(49.6)
13.0
(55.4)
15.7
(60.3)
18.1
(64.6)
18.2
(64.8)
15.3
(59.5)
10.5
(50.9)
6.0
(42.8)
2.9
(37.2)
10.4
(50.7)
Average low °C (°F) 0.4
(32.7)
1.1
(34.0)
2.7
(36.9)
4.8
(40.6)
7.8
(46.0)
10.5
(50.9)
12.2
(54.0)
12.0
(53.6)
9.3
(48.7)
5.9
(42.6)
2.7
(36.9)
−0.1
(31.8)
5.8
(42.4)
Record low °C (°F) −21.1
(−6.0)
−18.9
(−2.0)
−12.8
(9.0)
−4.4
(24.1)
−2.2
(28.0)
1.1
(34.0)
2.2
(36.0)
3.3
(37.9)
−1.7
(28.9)
−7.5
(18.5)
−16.7
(1.9)
−20.0
(−4.0)
−21.1
(−6.0)
Record low wind chill −26.6 −29.6 −19.7 −7.3 −4 0.0 0.0 0.0 −5.4 −13.9 −27.6 −33.3 −33.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 211.7
(8.33)
132.3
(5.21)
149.3
(5.88)
117.8
(4.64)
99.8
(3.93)
74.8
(2.94)
43.2
(1.70)
45.9
(1.81)
75.5
(2.97)
152.7
(6.01)
248.2
(9.77)
186.6
(7.35)
1,537.8
(60.54)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 193.6
(7.62)
123.4
(4.86)
144.9
(5.70)
117.1
(4.61)
99.8
(3.93)
74.8
(2.94)
43.2
(1.70)
45.9
(1.81)
75.5
(2.97)
152.7
(6.01)
241.5
(9.51)
170.9
(6.73)
1,483.3
(58.40)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 18.5
(7.3)
8.6
(3.4)
4.4
(1.7)
0.5
(0.2)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
6.7
(2.6)
16.5
(6.5)
55.2
(21.7)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 20.1 16.2 19.1 16.3 14.4 13.0 7.3 7.1 9.6 15.8 20.8 19.8 179.5
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 18.2 15.4 18.6 16.3 14.4 13.0 7.3 7.1 9.6 15.8 20.2 18.2 174.1
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 3.7 1.9 1.4 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.3 3.6 12.2
Average relative humidity (%) (at 3pm) 73.3 62.9 59.9 56.0 56.5 57.1 54.5 53.2 56.4 66.1 74.3 74.5 62.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 68.3 99.0 131.5 171.5 208.7 213.7 276.7 263.2 201.9 122.6 64.7 64.9 1,886.7
Percent possible sunshine 25.2 34.6 35.7 41.8 44.1 44.2 56.7 59.1 53.3 36.5 23.4 25.2 40.0
Source: Environment Canada[41][42][43][44]

Economy[edit]

Farmhouse and barn in Abbotsford

Some 62 percent of residents in Abbotsford work in the City of Abbotsford itself. Most of the remaining 38 percent commute to Mission, Chilliwack or Vancouver and its suburbs (primarily Surrey and Langley). More than 25 percent of Abbotsford's workforce commutes to Abbotsford from other municipalities.[45]

The Conference Board of Canada has identified the local economy as one of the most diverse in the country.[46] Abbotsford's main industries are agriculture, transportation, manufacturing and retail. The city earns the highest dollar per acre of agricultural land in the country, greater than the Niagara Region and the North Okanagan. Total sales from agricultural businesses grew from $635,000,000 in 2010 to nearly $1 billion as of 2021 and accounts for almost 50% of all chicken eggs and dairy milk production for all of British Columbia.[47][46]

The BC government's Animal Health Centre, at the Abbotsford Agriculture Centre offers "more than 400 laboratory diagnostic tests for agents that may be found in wild and domestic birds, mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians" and is the leading accredited full-service veterinary laboratory in Western Canada.[48] The facility has housed a Biosafety level 3 laboratory since October 2009.[49][50]

Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre and community health services make Fraser Health the city's largest employer with about 2,500 staff.[51] The city is also home to three federal prisons, each of which employs between 200 and 500 officers and support staff. There is also a growing aerospace industry led by Cascade Aerospace and Conair Group Inc.

Local and privately owned confectionery company Brookside Foods was acquired by The Hershey Company in 2011.[52] In 2016, it announced it would be closing.[53]

Education[edit]

Forty-six public elementary, middle, and secondary schools are administered by the Abbotsford School District.[54] This includes a virtual school called the "Abbotsford Virtual School" that offers more than 30 semestered online courses. This school offers a unique animation and modeling program that teaches students aspects of the video game industry.

Private schools include Dasmesh Punjabi School, St. John Brebeuf Regional Secondary, Mennonite Educational Institute, and Abbotsford Christian School.

Post-secondary institutions in the city include the University of the Fraser Valley, religious institutions such as Columbia Bible College and Summit Pacific College, as well as career colleges such as Career Gate Community College, Sprott Shaw College, Vancouver Career College, Métis Skills and Employment Centre, and CDI College.

Arts, culture and heritage[edit]

The Abbotsford Arts Council hosts a number of free local events including music in Mill Lake Park, the Arty Awards and more recently, the Christmas Artisan Gift Fair. It has been involved in projects such as the Abbotsford "Unity Statue", Abbotsford Christmas Craft Fair, Art in the Park, Abbotsford's Art and Heritage Unity Festival, and the Historical Downtown Art Bench Project. As well as maintaining the Kariton Art Gallery which features and hosts exhibitions from local artists of all mediums residing in the Lower Mainland.

The Reach Gallery Museum features exhibitions from across Canada and around the world, as well as the work of local artists. It houses a heritage archive, runs special events, programs and courses and seeks to promote local arts and culture.

Trethewey House Heritage Site features a restored 1920s Craftsman-style house built by J.O. Trethewey, one of the owners of the lumber and shingle mill that gave Mill Lake Park its name. The municipally designated heritage house and adjacent gallery are open to the public for special events, educational programming, and drop-in tours.

The Mennonite Heritage Museum, which opened in January 2016, features a permanent exhibit that tells the 500-year-old story of the Anabaptist/Mennonite movement, with a particular focus on the history of those Mennonites who settled in Abbotsford beginning in the early 1930s. The Museum also has a gallery that features the work of local Mennonite artists, a coffee shop serving traditional Mennonite foods, a bookstore, and a replica traditional Mennonite housebarn that includes a permanent exhibit focusing on Mennonites and agriculture. The Museum is also home to the library and archive of the Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia.

Gallery 7 Theatre and Performing Arts has been one of Abbotsford only performing arts organizations since 1991 and operates out of Mennonite Educational Institute. They produce four mainstage productions every year.

Transportation[edit]

Public bus transportation is provided by the Central Fraser Valley Transit System. Passenger rail service to Vancouver currently runs from nearby Mission by way of the West Coast Express.

Air links are provided by the Abbotsford International Airport. WestJet provides regular scheduled service from the airport, due to its proximity to Vancouver's eastern suburbs. The airport is also the home of the annual Abbotsford International Airshow.

Major transportation routes leading into Abbotsford are the Trans-Canada Highway (No. 1), the Abbotsford-Mission Highway (No. 11) and the Fraser Highway (No. 1A). Access to the United States is via the Sumas–Huntingdon Border Crossing.[55][56]

Media[edit]

Due to its proximity to Vancouver, most Vancouver television and radio stations are also available in Abbotsford, although in a few cases there are repeater stations licensed to different centres in the region.

Radio[edit]

Two radio stations originate from Abbotsford: CIVL-FM, campus radio station of the University of the Fraser Valley, and country music station CKQC-FM.[57][58]

Print[edit]

Online[edit]

  • Abbotsford Today[60]
  • Fraser Valley Current[61]

Sports[edit]

Hockey[edit]

Abbotsford Minor Hockey is one of the largest associations in British Columbia with more than 1000 players registered from the ages of 5 through 18 years old. This association is recognized by many as a model and a leader in the development of minor hockey programs, and several Abbotsford-raised players have gone on to the highest levels of this sport. In the 2005–06 hockey season, Abbotsford's bantam AAA team were ultimately the Western Canadian Bantam Champions, and eight individual players from this team (the most ever) were selected in the 2006 WHL Bantam Draft.

The Abbotsford Pilots of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League (junior B level) play at MSA Arena, which is Abbotsford's second largest arena at just over 400 seats. Abbotsford was considered as a possible home for the Chilliwack Chiefs (junior A), who were forced to move in 2006 when the Chilliwack Bruins (a WHL expansion team) took over their arena, Prospera Centre. Abbotsford would have become the home of the Chiefs if the city had supported them in building a new arena; instead, the Chiefs moved to Langley. Construction has now been completed in Abbotsford on a far bigger sports and entertainment centre (with 7,500 seats).[62]

From 2009 until 2014, Abbotsford hosted the NHL's Calgary Flames' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat.[63][64][65][66] Home games were played at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.

On May 6, 2021, the NHL's Vancouver Canucks were approved to relocate their AHL affiliate to Abbotsford for the 2021–22 season as the Abbotsford Canucks.[67]

Other sports[edit]

From 2012 and 2013, the BC Angels of the Legends Football League's LFL Canada division played at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.[68]

Abbotsford's Jane and Gerry Swan Track at Rotary Stadium is home to the Valley Royals Track & Field Club, who have produced numerous Olympians including two for the 2008 Olympics. Rotary Stadium was also home to the now-defunct Abbotsford Air Force of the Canadian Junior Football League.

Abbotsford has a superior youth soccer program, winning two national titles, and numerous provincial titles. It is also home of soccer all-stars Sophie Schmidt, Brad Petoom and Adam Lang. Abbotsford is home to the Abbotsford Mariners of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League, the highest level of amateur soccer in North America.

Abbotsford is home to many high school sports, with Abbotsford Senior Secondary School, W.J. Mouat Secondary, Rick Hansen Secondary, Robert Bateman Secondary, St. John Brebeuf Secondary, Yale Secondary, and the Mennonite Educational Institute, among others, doing very well in track and field, volleyball, basketball, and football. These schools have consistently ranked among the highest in the province. The Yale Secondary senior boys basketball team, under Coach Al Friesen, won the 2008 'AAA' provincial boys' basketball championship.[69]

Abbotsford's rugby club supports three men's teams, two women's teams, U19 men's and women's, U15 U16 and U17 men's, and a great mini rugby program. Many of Abbotsford's players have gone on to play for Canada, such as Erin Lockwood, Ryan McWhinney, Scott Hunter and Brodie Henderson.[70]

In Olympic sports, Abbotsford's Alana Kraus has won medals in short-track speed skating.

Club League Sport Venue Established Championships Status
Abbotsford Canucks Ice hockey Abbotsford Centre
2021
0
Active
Abbotsford Heat Ice hockey Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre
2009
0
Defunct
BC Angels Arena football Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre
2012
0
Defunct
Abbotsford Pilots Ice hockey MSA Arena
1987
3
Active
Fraser Valley Mariners Soccer Bateman Park
2003
0
Active
Abbotsford RFC Rugby CFV Exhibition Park
1972
0
Active
Fraser Valley Thunderbirds Ice hockey Abbotsford Centre
2018
1
Active
Abbotsford Air Force Football Rotary Stadium
1987
0
Defunct
Abbotsford Flyers Ice hockey MSA Arena
1976
1
Defunct
Abbotsford Falcons Ice hockey MSA Arena
1985
0
Defunct
Valley Rebels Box Lacrosse MSA Arena
2005
0
Active
Abbotsford Bandits Box Lacrosse MSA Arena
2000
0
Defunct
UFV Cascades Basketball UFV Athletic Centre
?
?
Active
UFV Cascades Soccer MRC Sports Complex
?
?
Active
UFV Cascades Volleyball UFV Athletic Centre
?
?
Active
UFV Cascades Baseball Delair Park
?
?
Active
UFV Cascades Rugby Rotary Stadium
?
?
Active
CBC Bearcats Basketball Columbia Place
?
?
Active
CBC Bearcats Volleyball Columbia Place
?
?
Active

Crime[edit]

In 2005, the Abbotsford–Mission metropolitan area had the highest property crime rate and the second highest violent crime rate for cities with a population of 100,000 to 500,000 in Canada.[71]

The metropolitan area had the highest rate of homicides nationally for two years running (2008 and 2009) with a rate of 5.22 homicides per 100,000 population, compared with the national average of 1.81.[72][73] In 2010, the rate was 2.3.[74]

The City of Abbotsford has its own municipal police force, one of eleven municipal police forces in British Columbia. It is the third largest municipal police force in British Columbia (behind Vancouver and Victoria). As of 2006, the Abbotsford Police Department employed nearly 200 officers and 80 civilian employees.

The Abbotsford Police Department was officially formed in 1995 when the District of Matsqui and the District of Abbotsford amalgamated to become the City of Abbotsford. Prior to the amalgamation, the District of Matsqui was patrolled by the Matsqui police and the District of Abbotsford by the RCMP. During the referendum citizens elected to keep a municipal police force.

Cityscape[edit]

Private residences near Upper Ten Oaks in eastern Abbotsford looking north-by-northwest towards Mission

These places represent parts of the city that have more than one neighbourhood in them.

  • Abbotsford East
  • Abbotsford West
  • Aberdeen
  • Bradner
  • Central Abbotsford
  • Matsqui
  • Poplar
  • Sumas Mountain
  • Sumas Prairie

Neighbourhoods[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In 1976, the amalgamation with the District of Sumas raised the population. Previous figures were for the square mile of Abbotsford only.
  2. ^ In 1995, the amalgamation with the District of Matsqui raised the population.
  3. ^ Percentages total more than 100% due to multiple responses e.g. German-East Indian, Norwegian-Irish-Polish
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Not included elsewhere
  5. ^ Not otherwise specified
  6. ^ Census Canada does not distinguish between European and North American French origins. This category includes Acadians; Québécois-only (not multiple responses) are in North American origins.
  7. ^ Métis, First Nations, Inuit, Native Americans, Alaska Natives
  8. ^ American, Canadian, Québécois, Newfoundlander; does not include aboriginal peoples
  9. ^ Including aboriginal people of South and Central America
  10. ^ Germany, Austria, Benelux, Switzerland
  11. ^ Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland
  12. ^ Slavic and Baltic countries, plus Romania, Hungary and Albania
  13. ^ Roma (Gypsy), Jewish, Basque, misc. Slav
  14. ^ Excluding Arab countries of the Maghreb, including Afrikaners and other white South Africans
  15. ^ Including the Maghreb/North Africa
  16. ^ Afghan, Iranian, Azerbaijani, Kurdish, Turkish, Georgian, Armenian
  17. ^ Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand

References[edit]

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External links[edit]